Background: Multi-segment foot models (MFMs) for assessing three-dimensional segmental foot motions are calculated via various analytical methods. Although validation studies have already been conducted, we cannot compare their results because the experimental environments in previous studies were different from each other. This study aims to compare the kinematics, repeatability, and reproducibility of five MFMs in the same experimental conditions. Methods: Eleven healthy males with a mean age of 26.5 years participated in this study. We created a merged 29-marker set including five MFMs: Oxford (OFM), modified Rizzoli (mRFM), DuPont (DFM), Milwaukee (MiFM), and modified Shriners Hospital for Children Greenville (mSHCG). Two operators applied the merged model to participants twice, and then we analysed two relative angles of three segments: shank-hindfoot (HF) and hindfoot-forefoot (FF). Coefficients of multiple correlation (CMC) and mean standard errors were used to assess repeatability and reproducibility, and statistical parametric mapping (SPM) of the t-value was employed to compare kinematics. Results: HF varus/valgus of the MiFM and mSHCG models, which rotated the segment according to radiographic or goniometric measurements during the reference frame construction, were significantly more repeatable and reproducible, compared to other models. They showed significantly more dorsiflexed HF and plantarflexed FF due to their static offset angles. DFM and mSHCG showed a greater range of motion (ROM), and some models had significantly different FF points of peak angle. Conclusions: Under the same conditions, rotating the segment according to the appropriate offset angle obtained from radiographic or goniometric measurement increased reliability, but all MFMs had clinically acceptable reliability compared to previous studies. Moreover, in some models, especially HF varus/valgus, there were differences in ROM and points of peak angle even with no statistical difference in SPM curves. Therefore, based on the results of this study, clinicians and researchers involved in the evaluation of foot and ankle dysfunction need an understanding of the specific features of each MFM to make accurate decisions.
- Foot kinematics
- Multi-segment foot model